If you have grown up in OC, chances are that you have heard the stories surrounding Blackstar Canyon. These stories range from hauntings to cult sacrifices to murderous squatters. While I’m not willing to confirm or deny the validity of any of these tales, I can tell you that there is indeed a pretty spectacular waterfall hidden here.
Most hikers that venture into Blackstar Canyon never make it quite far enough into the canyon to find the waterfall trail. Those that do make it in are likely to pass right by the shrub covered creek entrance. From the parking area the creek entrance is 2.5 miles along a relatively flat fire road, and you can find it as long as you know what to look for. You will easily spot a couple of large concrete tubes at the point where the trail begins to climb. Directly to the right of these cylinders you will spot a small clearance in the brush that is bordering the trail. This is the entrance down into the creek.
The creek portion of the hike provides some pretty challenging boulder climbing which is obviously most difficult in the winter and spring months due to the rain. The trek through the creek is an additional 2.5 miles, but plan on it feeling more like 4 miles when you factor in all of the climbing. Be sure to pack plenty of water and some light snacks. A first aid kit would also be a wise choice. This trail is covered in poison oak and I have witnessed a pretty nasty cut resulting in 14 stitches as well as someone taking a tumble from the cave that is alongside the waterfall.
This is one of the more challenging trails that I have experienced in OC, but I would say that the payoff is well worth it. The Blackstar Canyon Waterfall is a spectacular site especially in the rainy season, and it is still very impressive in the dry season when the water is but a trickle. When you first lay eyes upon it I’m sure you’ll be just as surprised as I was that such a thing exists right in our own backyard.
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